Dont Mince Words

Merry what and a happy nothing

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Marna

Bonuses and any type of employee recognition can be tricky. I understand that. I come from the school of thought that you should make it thoughtful or make it matter… or don’t bother.

After years of working in dot com, I was used to good bonuses, and I’m not talking about the frozen turkey or the canned ham of the 1980s. Good, new wardrobe or a European vacation kind of money. When I moved to L.A., those bonuses disappeared when I became a contractor.

Flash forward to Christmas 2007 when I was back in the ad agency world. I was so excited when I heard checks were going to be handed out at the party. I opened the envelope, looked up, looked down again and said to my main gay, “what am I going to do with $200 in Los Angeles?” He said, “I know. I heard they were way better last year.” The housing crisis had started to hit then, so I cut them some slack and ordered my bonus online.

“What did you get,” asked my main gay.

“I bought a vibrator with a 12-foot cord. I’m tired of buying batteries,” I explained. Let’s face it. The purchase was very symbolic of my bonus.

Flash forward 10 years later. I checked in with my main gay and wished him a merry christmas and also let him know my bonus was still alive and well. When he asked what my employer gave me this year, I reluctantly had to admit I got the same thing I give my dog walker – a $25 gift certificate to Target.

“Are you kidding me? Why did they even bother?” he said.

I don’t know. I do know my dog walker was much happier than I was, but he doesn’t walk my dog 40 hours a week.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

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